New Jersey 2014

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UQOnyx
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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby UQOnyx » March 15th, 2014, 9:05 pm

I also want to know how much the state competition has to adhere with the Science Olympiad rules. Are they required to follow the rules exactly, or can they deviate from it if they choose to?

I am slightly upset also about how Robo-cross was run. There were two incidents that happened, one affecting only me and one affecting everyone else. Several people, myself possibly included as they didn't tell us were teired down because of a frankly horrible interpretation of the rules. I saw this for one other team, and I am pretty sure that it happened to several others. Once the ES called stop, they put their remote down and stopped the robot from moving. But for some reason, their robot twitched after that, either because in turning off the robot, the servos twitched, or just as a tiny fault in the signal. They got tiered down for that. The same thing happened to us.. Either I am wrong which is a possibility, or it was a way too strict adherence to the rules. I don't think a team who put so much effort and time into their project, not to mention the enourmous amount of money should see all their hard work go down the drain because of a tiny unforeseeable error or discrepancy.
The second part...
Right before we started our run, I noticed that a few things were wrong on the playing field by a few inches... Being stressed and tense to not think about it, I didn't mention it until after the run, which we did pretty bad at. The ES's reviewed the footage, said yes you are right, but we will not give you another run even though you are right because the other teams would make a fuss and they didn't want to deal with that... We had the potential to get a different score, and it wasn't our fault that the field was set up wrong. It should have been their responsibility to fix their goof up as we weren't given the same advantage/chance as everyone else.

Anyways though, raging aside, I was impressed with the building events, especially in Boomilevers. I have to say though, even though division C looks pretty hard, or competition seems very fierce, it REALLY is not. I kind of sneaked a look :twisted: at the boomilevers team score sheet and I have to say, the majority of the teams are not good at all. I think for division B, there were only two other teams over 600 (the top three teams) with the rest around 200. The same, maybe a tiny bit higher for division C. As a word of advice, though I'm still in eighth grade, I've been in Science Olympiad for three years so far. Don't be intimidated. It really really isn't that difficult. I hope to be staying in my division B team (our C team sucks) and probably mentoring and training the newbies. It's still a problem though as nearly all of our medalling members were in eighth grade (about 12) and we can take only 5 next year. :shock: We don't know what to do...
Noor-ul-Iman School

2012 Events:
Forestry
Storm The Castle


2013 Events:
Boomilever
Shock Value
Forestry


I know the voices aren't real, but they have some great ideas..

nxtscholar
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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby nxtscholar » March 16th, 2014, 4:35 am

Nah, I was just there to watch the Scrambler event. Coincidentally, I saw WWP-N go.

I'm from UCVTS. I did the events Designer Genes and Rocks and Minerals :) (Yes that means SilverNight knows exactly who I am. Hey ;) ) For Rocks, they got the test exactly from online. (This one, word for word)I went back home and looked it up and compared answers. I got only 1 wrong, taking the test based on what I knew and not what I remembered from the online test :( I studied hard too, it was just that I looked over the tests before regionals and didn't look at that specific test right before the competition, so I messed up. Still, I thought that taking the test from online was something that didn't measure our abilities, and the supervisors really could have done better.
I know how you feel (somewhat), because while I didn't compete in NJ SO in any test events, I did compete for the right to compete at state in these testing events against my team mates. But you know what? My captains just took the compound machines test from this very site (test exchange). And conveniently enough, they neglected to tell me that the sci oly rules explicitly labeled what the six simple machines to be used and tested were. So I thought I was being smart and said gears, inclined plane (a wedge is simply two inclined planes put together), lever, screw, wheel and axle,and pulley. Well, apparently it's plane, screw, wheel/axle, lever, wedge, and pulley. lovely.

And they did this with ALL of the tests to be taken that were up for grabs. People who placed last year in an event got it this year, which i don't understand either. Sci oly is extremely dynamic in certain instances. Case in point? We got 2nd last year in designer genes. This year? 11th.

Anyways, I digress. As discussed with magicalforest, we're writing letters (via coach) to make sure that this situation never happens again. Luo kindly offered help, and I fail to see why NJ SO never responded.
I also want to know how much the state competition has to adhere with the Science Olympiad rules. Are they required to follow the rules exactly, or can they deviate from it if they choose to?

I am slightly upset also about how Robo-cross was run. There were two incidents that happened, one affecting only me and one affecting everyone else. Several people, myself possibly included as they didn't tell us were teired down because of a frankly horrible interpretation of the rules. I saw this for one other team, and I am pretty sure that it happened to several others. Once the ES called stop, they put their remote down and stopped the robot from moving. But for some reason, their robot twitched after that, either because in turning off the robot, the servos twitched, or just as a tiny fault in the signal. They got tiered down for that. The same thing happened to us.. Either I am wrong which is a possibility, or it was a way too strict adherence to the rules. I don't think a team who put so much effort and time into their project, not to mention the enourmous amount of money should see all their hard work go down the drain because of a tiny unforeseeable error or discrepancy.
The second part...
Right before we started our run, I noticed that a few things were wrong on the playing field by a few inches... Being stressed and tense to not think about it, I didn't mention it until after the run, which we did pretty bad at. The ES's reviewed the footage, said yes you are right, but we will not give you another run even though you are right because the other teams would make a fuss and they didn't want to deal with that... We had the potential to get a different score, and it wasn't our fault that the field was set up wrong. It should have been their responsibility to fix their goof up as we weren't given the same advantage/chance as everyone else.

Anyways though, raging aside, I was impressed with the building events, especially in Boomilevers. I have to say though, even though division C looks pretty hard, or competition seems very fierce, it REALLY is not. I kind of sneaked a look :twisted: at the boomilevers team score sheet and I have to say, the majority of the teams are not good at all. I think for division B, there were only two other teams over 600 (the top three teams) with the rest around 200. The same, maybe a tiny bit higher for division C. As a word of advice, though I'm still in eighth grade, I've been in Science Olympiad for three years so far. Don't be intimidated. It really really isn't that difficult. I hope to be staying in my division B team (our C team sucks) and probably mentoring and training the newbies. It's still a problem though as nearly all of our medalling members were in eighth grade (about 12) and we can take only 5 next year. :shock: We don't know what to do...
The state could apparently interpret the sci oly rules just as we can find loop holes in the event rules differently. I mean, we saw what happened with ward-melville. the national director kindly asked the nyso director to reconsider, but apparently, it's not like he could have forced anything. States, to me, seem to have a sort of individual sovereignty when it comes to national rules. Some states have a dif rocks and minerals list. Other states have different interpretations on the same rules (you can find one clarification on the NJ site, and you might not find it on the NY site for example).

Haha, I saw people using their hands to support the bucket for boomilever at times. I didn't really like how the judges weren't watching at all times.

And um, the "tiny bit higher for division c" you're talking about is 400 points, give or take. Top 3 teams for us? Montclair bairly broke 1000. West Windsor South got around 1200. And JP Stevens got 1340 :D. Actually, we could of got 1400+. The pair doing the event spent 7 minutes trying to set up. Well, the bucket started touching the floor during the official run, so we had no time to fix it. We just figured we might as well test what it would have gotten after we got our official score, and there we go. 1470.

Nearly 12 of you medal placing folks are graduating? Isn't that enough for a team at the C level? I'm sure you could find some more smart AND dedicated people in the time frame of now till regions. :D
___

Yeah, in general, anyone feeling NJSO is becoming severely monopolized now? It's usually the same 5 or 6 teams at the top every year, with the SAME teams at the top 2. I don't know. I feel like NJSO is losing its competitiveness in general across its teams, and there's no one really to blame for that specifically. My school is suffering from what I dub "the Plainsboro Effect" The idea is that West Windsor South has been winning states for the past 6 years now, so most of my team doesn't see any point in trying hard. Oh, maybe they'll work hard individually and try to do well on a individual level, trying to place for a medal. But there's no team interaction. There's no collective effort amongst all of our builders (who could easily and effectively tackle problems together and share ideas if they wanted). There's no drive. And that, to me, is alarming. Anyone else?

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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby chalker » March 16th, 2014, 7:33 am

I also want to know how much the state competition has to adhere with the Science Olympiad rules. Are they required to follow the rules exactly, or can they deviate from it if they choose to?
States have a lot of leeway. Many States issue State-specific FAQs / clarifications. Some, like NC, even issue their own version of the rules for many events. Other States, like TX, run a mixture of 'national' events and 'state' events.
Once the ES called stop, they put their remote down and stopped the robot from moving. But for some reason, their robot twitched after that, either because in turning off the robot, the servos twitched, or just as a tiny fault in the signal. They got tiered down for that. The same thing happened to us.. Either I am wrong which is a possibility, or it was a way too strict adherence to the rules.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Far too many supervisors are in 'gotcha' mode looking for the littlest reason to tier or DQ someone. Unfortunately there isn't much we can do about this.
. The ES's reviewed the footage, said yes you are right, but we will not give you another run even though you are right because the other teams would make a fuss and they didn't want to deal with that...
If the misplacement was consistent across all teams, then this is probably the right call. Mistakes happen. If the mistake applies equally to all teams then there isn't much you can do about it.

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UQOnyx
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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby UQOnyx » March 16th, 2014, 2:35 pm

No, no chalker the misplacement was just for our team...
Noor-ul-Iman School

2012 Events:
Forestry
Storm The Castle


2013 Events:
Boomilever
Shock Value
Forestry


I know the voices aren't real, but they have some great ideas..

fanjiatian
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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby fanjiatian » March 20th, 2014, 7:11 pm

Well traditionally JP Stevens has always been good at balsa structure events (and build events in general I guess). But the people who were responsible for getting us almost all of our medals this year (myself included) are all going to graduate next year...so I worry about the future of our club. We took only two sophomores to states.
Oh wow, for our school it's the opposite. We had 3 seniors on our states team, and I know a few 8th graders that did really well in states. I hope, and most likely, they will come to UCVTS. :D
So with this in mind, and that fact that states seems to be gradually declining a bit in quality, I think an invitationals would be great. Most invitationals that NJ teams could go to are either too far away, or out of schedule. And considering most teams don't have the funds or drive to actually even go to invitationals out-of-state, I do think a New Jersey invitationals, a physical, non-online one, is in order. It'd give all the NJ teams a chance to test ideas, meet new friends, and conspire to overthrow WWPHS South (not kidding :P)
Okay that's wonderful! I'm going to see what I can do to run an invite. My school's got the room and everything. As long as we have enough other teams coming, I think we can do this! Also... fixed that for you xD
Oh, and I'd be glad to actually provide some build tips directly to your team if you want. My personal goal is to simply make NJ more competitive in general.
I will take you up on that offer as soon as I can! :D I can uhhh help you with astronomy? (Never mind your school's already good at astronomy.)
Oh, yah! In a moment of egotism, I can see pictures of me on the state tournament album
Haha I can see distant pictures of me on the bleachers behind WW-P South....Remind me to never again sit behind WW-P South at the award ceremony. >.<
I sent her a very edited, false-courteous email 2 weeks before States asking about the event schedule, and she replied a week later. Looking now on the NJ website, there's a notice under the NJ SO Contact info that "Please direct all inquiries to your team coach." The only way for students to directly offer comments would probably through Facebook or Twitter or something (which I would if I had one of those).
I too, sent her an email asking for clarifications. She never responded.
PLEASE run an invitational next year :) It's about time NJ had one, considering how awesome we are. Just make sure it doesn't conflict with Connestoga or Tiger Invies xD. But seriously, having an invitational in NJ would save people from driving two hours to PA, which would be awesome
BTW, I wish there was a way for NJ to send two teams to Nats each year. Apparently we just need to increase our total State membership, maybe by 50 or so teams. Haha perhaps open a fourth Regional tourny or expand the team limit at the current three tournies?

And yeah, WQ was terrible at States :( I have to vouch for UCC, that test was pretty good. I think it was written by one of the professors there during winter break
**EDIT: We'd only need 15ish more schools registered to send two teams to Nats? Don't see why we can't do it! About time NJ sent two teams, considering how competitive we are
Last edited by fanjiatian on March 20th, 2014, 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby ckssv07 » March 20th, 2014, 7:26 pm

PLEASE run an invitational next year :) It's about time NJ had one, considering how awesome we are. Just make sure it doesn't conflict with Connestoga or Tiger Invies xD. But seriously, having an invitational in NJ would save people from driving two hours to PA, which would be awesome
BTW, I wish there was a way for NJ to send two teams to Nats each year. Apparently we just need to increase our total State membership, maybe by 50 or so teams. Haha perhaps open a fourth Regional tourny or expand the team limit at the current three tournies?

And yeah, WQ was terrible at States :( I have to vouch for UCC, that test was pretty good. I think it was written by one of the professors there during winter break
Actually to get two teams, div B would have need 19 teams, and div C would have need 14 more teams this year.

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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby fanjiatian » March 20th, 2014, 7:58 pm

PLEASE run an invitational next year :) It's about time NJ had one, considering how awesome we are. Just make sure it doesn't conflict with Connestoga or Tiger Invies xD. But seriously, having an invitational in NJ would save people from driving two hours to PA, which would be awesome
BTW, I wish there was a way for NJ to send two teams to Nats each year. Apparently we just need to increase our total State membership, maybe by 50 or so teams. Haha perhaps open a fourth Regional tourny or expand the team limit at the current three tournies?

And yeah, WQ was terrible at States :( I have to vouch for UCC, that test was pretty good. I think it was written by one of the professors there during winter break
Actually to get two teams, div B would have need 19 teams, and div C would have need 14 more teams this year.
That's it? Oh wow! Even more reason why we should encourage more schools to sign up/ persuade NJSO to let more teams into the regional tournaments
BTW, where do you find this stuff? Is it on SOINC? I didn't see it

nxtscholar
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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby nxtscholar » March 20th, 2014, 8:13 pm

PLEASE run an invitational next year :) It's about time NJ had one, considering how awesome we are. Just make sure it doesn't conflict with Connestoga or Tiger Invies xD. But seriously, having an invitational in NJ would save people from driving two hours to PA, which would be awesome
BTW, I wish there was a way for NJ to send two teams to Nats each year. Apparently we just need to increase our total State membership, maybe by 50 or so teams. Haha perhaps open a fourth Regional tourny or expand the team limit at the current three tournies?

And yeah, WQ was terrible at States :( I have to vouch for UCC, that test was pretty good. I think it was written by one of the professors there during winter break
Actually to get two teams, div B would have need 19 teams, and div C would have need 14 more teams this year.
That's it? Oh wow! Even more reason why we should encourage more schools to sign up/ persuade NJSO to let more teams into the regional tournaments
BTW, where do you find this stuff? Is it on SOINC? I didn't see it
You're kidding right? Only 14 more teams? That is a ridiculously low number relatively. Anyone want to join me in campaigning around NJ to kickstart new teams? :P

But yeah, about that NJ Invitationals, I know that UCVTS is trying to organize one. If that doesn't work out (though I hope it does), I can guarantee JP Stevens will. It seems generally from everyone I heard that an NJ Invitational would be viewed favorably...except how many of us exactly would be planning on going? I would imagine at least 20 teams would need to register?

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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby ckssv07 » March 20th, 2014, 8:28 pm

It is a link in the Will you make it to nationals? forum. I am extremely sorry I read the wrong state, you actually need 23 more for division C, that makes it a bit harder... Sorry about that.
Last edited by ckssv07 on March 20th, 2014, 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nxtscholar
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Re: New Jersey 2014

Postby nxtscholar » March 20th, 2014, 8:30 pm

Oh, ok. Thanks.

I posted it here for our benefit: http://www.scienceolympiad2014.com/teamassignments.html


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